Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve Goodbyes!

We have packed up mom's belongings, been trained to operate her IV pump, said goodbye to her nurses and are now following her ambulance home.  Tonight we will not only celebrate the Eve of our Savior's birthday but also another holiday with our mom.  

Christmas Eve has always been more special to us than Christmas.  We gather with long time family friends, eat a lasagna dinner, go to church and open gifts.  But tonight we are happy to have our mom with us.

 My memories of Christmas Eve have always been magical and special.  My mom and dad have always gone above and beyond with gifts for us and over the years have also showered Craig and Dustin with gifts as well.  Needless to say, it has been a big day for our family for many years.  This year I still have not even purchased my gifts yet, as I don't even feel like receiving any gifts.  I have all that I need family and friends

Happy Holidays to all!  We're off to enjoy our traditional lasagna dinner and join Becky and Dustin at home.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thank you

I have been blessed with so many great friends through the ups and downs of life!  I can't thank everyone enough for their constant love and support.  Most importantly, thank you to all who still continue to love me even though I disappear at times when I am not feeling social and put up with me and my lack of communication over the past few weeks.

One amazing group of girls!
Georgia, a very special and precious friend. 
Me, Craig, Karen, Megan and Dad.
Deena, Katie, Manna, Me, Thayer and Farrah.
Thank you to Megan, Thayer, Katie, Morgan, Manna, Kristine, Bethany, Dad and Karen who have all have offered to help re-address our save the dates for us after they were stolen from the local post office drop box.

Thank you Dustin for loving me, standing by my side and always supporting me in each decision I make.  Thank you for putting in a Friends DVD when I need to smile and continuing to tell me that I can never disappoint you or make you feel bad when I leave our home constantly to spend time with my mom.

Thank you Dad and Karen for always making yourselves available to us even though you both live over 2 hours away.  Thank you for never making me feel like I am imposing.

Thank you Megan for always knowing exactly how I feel and not having to explain it.  Thank you Craig for supporting Megan.

Thank you Thayer for your visits, FaceTime calls with Addison and just simply understanding what it is like to see a loving mom sick with cancer.  Thank you for always justifying my crazy antics.

Thank you Katie for always spoiling me and my mom with flowers and cards, for making yourself available from across the country and always calling or texting to check in.  Thank you for opening up your homes to me in Phoenix and New York when I need a place to escape.

Thank you Morgan for sending your sweet emails, snail mail, home blogs and bible verses to me each day.  Thank you for your flowers that you would buy for me on your lunch break and dropping by just for a few minutes.  Thank you for allowing me to vent but also for venting to me and never letting me feel crazy.

Thank you Deena for leaving sweet voicemails and always rebuilding my faith when I feel like I have crumbled.  Thank you for being an amazing friend and always picking up right where we started.

Thank you to my amazing cousins, Ben and Lindsay, for uplifting me with kind words and laughing with me at happy hour and family gatherings.

Thank you to my Granddad and Grandnan who always encourages me in my faith.

Thank you Beca for always remembering me and checking up on me!  Thank you for our girl nights and making me smile!

Thank you Georgia for making me feel like family.  Thank you for baking and making dinners for my family.  Thank you for being a strong pillar for support, watching our dogs and making sure we are all okay.

Thank you to so many more people who are thinking and praying for my family constantly.  I hope one day to repay you for all you have done for me.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Phone Calls During Work

I keep my phone close to me at night and during the day just in case family needs to reach me. Today I received a text from Aunt Becky asking me to call her at my earliest convenience, she knew this week was busy at work.  I immediately called her back, expecting the worst.

She told me that hospice nurses have arranged for my mom to go to a Hospice facility in Tacoma tonight.  A transport team will be coming tonight between 8pm and 9pm to take her.

Here is what I know from our conversation:
  1. The nurse did not like my mom's "color"
  2. She has noticed that my mom's health has severely declined the last few weeks
  3. She is not getting enough nutrition into her body 
  4. Her empty stomach is not able to adapt to the large amounts of pain medicine that my mom requires for comfort
Hospice is assuring us that this is good.  They hope that being able to get nutrition in her via IV will help her tolerate her pain meds and get her on track and feeling more comfortable.

I am heading down now.  I'll be spending the night to relieve Aunt Becky.  My bags are packed as they always seem to be these days.

More updates when I know more information . . .

Change of Plans

After my second night at the Hospice House, Dustin and I packed up his car and traveled down to Camas, WA.  We were heading down to celebrate Christmas down at my dad and Karen's house.  Once there we met my Grandnan, Megan and Craig.  Karen's two boys, Adam and Brian, Brian's wife, Bethany and their children would also be there.

My dad!

We started the celebration with Karen's delicious breakfast casserole and drank mimosas.  After brunch we opened presents.  It is so much fun to see children opening their gifts and see how excited they got.  I spent most of my day playing with Brian and Bethany's 5-year-old, Kylie.  

How can you not love that smile?  Pure happiness.

She is just a joy to be around and made me smile and laugh all day long. After presents we enjoyed lounging while the kids played with their new toys.  I even put some pink glitter press on nails on Kylie! Later in the evening we went to our annual dinner at Twilight Pizza to play trivia.

I called it an early night and was sad to miss out on the night time fun that the rest of the family enjoyed.  Truthfully, I was just dead tired after two sleepless nights with my mom.  I am not sure how my aunt had managed to do this the past few weeks.

When I woke up this morning I had a knot in my stomach after having nightmares about my mom.  Dustin and I had plans to drive further south 4 more hours to pick up his new project car, a Camaro.  As we drove, the knot in my stomach twisted more.  I hated knowing that I would be so far away if anything were to happen to mom.  Dustin encouraged me to drive back to Tacoma with Megan and Craig.  I eventually took him up om the offer and was dropped off at Target while I waited for Megan to pick me up.  

While there I bought Craig and Megan's dog Luna some treats and toys before she went to stay at doggie day care for the week.

After our drive, we finally saw mom and the first thing she said to me was "Where were you?  I missed you so much".  It broke my heart to hear that, but it confirmed my decision to go back early to see her with Megan and Craig.

Deciding what to order for dinner.
Mom randomly deciding to be a gangster.
It is times like these that are so precious to me.  Please let all of your loved ones know how much they are loved during the Holiday season :).

Friday, December 20, 2013

Franciscan Hospice House

Last night I spent time at my mom's house while waiting for the transport team.  Two very friendly ladies came over to help assist my mom.  They loved on the dogs while my mom used the bathroom about 5 times before finally getting onto her gurney.

We drove behind the ambulance all of the way to Tacoma.  After checking her in, we settled into her nice and comfortable room.


We had a very sweet nurse.  She hooked her up to an IV and even drew smiley faces on the tape.

While she did that I took a little tour.  Aunt Becky left shortly after.  I was able to sleep on a small pull out bed, not too shabby!

This morning we woke up to snow!  My mom just ordered a small breakfast and Aunt Becky will be joining us soon!

I will post more later.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Little Moments

Today I will start off with news about Dustin's dad.  Dustin's dad was chasing their pup around his shop today, tripped and gashed his head on one of the stores display cases.  9 stitches later he has returned home from the hospital with a new turban do atop his head.  C'mon parents, get it together!

Nothing big, new, or exciting to report tonight other than Dustin's dad's accident.  Mom thinks she may have hurt or even broken a rib from her past fall.  It gives her trouble whenever we lift her out of bed and from internal pressure when she gets sick.

I was able to convince Aunt Becky to at least try and enjoy a nap while I am here tonight and she is still asleep!  Success.

Mom and I are enjoyed flipping through a People magazine together.  We are both so sad to read that our favorite little reality star, Jen Arnold, is battling cancer as well.  She is a new mom of two adopted children.  Cancer sucks!

So it's just me and my mom tonight.  I cut her up a piece of pizza, into tiny pieces just as she requested.  When I asked her why she was not eating, she said she simply forgot.  I ended up resorting to "airplane" and "cho cho train" just to make her smile and eat a bit.  

She ended up getting sick afterwards.  It is hard to keep a smile on my face when I see her so frail, but I will not show her my weakness.  I will smile, hold her hand and rub her back through it all.  I will make her feel loved the way she showed me love through life's toughest and greatest moments.

So my friends, please enjoy all of the little moments with your loved ones :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Live a Balanced Life

Yesterday, I bought a copy of Real Simple magazine to read on my bus ride home.

The title immediately jumped out at me.  What does one actually consider to be a balanced life?  Surely, not everyone thinks the same.

Then I read this quote and it hit me because it applies to my life, right now.

Even though things are tough, one must keep moving.  Yes, I know it it easier to say then to do.  But then it got me thinking about things that I like to do and that I would consider living a balanced life . . .

1) Laugh and smile

2) Workout, run, walk, get moving!

Try a new workout!  (via Peanut Butter Fingers)
3) Be with family.

4) Go out with friends, enjoy happy hour or try a new local restaurant.

5) Co-host a fun girls night!

5) Eat healthy and trying new ingredients

7) Spend quality time with Dustin and do things together

8) Walking on my lunch break and enjoying Seattle hot spots

Monday, December 16, 2013

Half Lit Christmas Tree

On Friday night, Dustin and I decided to stay in and put up our Christmas tree.  I had previously only decorated by hanging up our stockings and door wreath.  Needless to say, our apartment was in need of some holiday cheer.  Dustin went out to pick up white string lights and a tree stand, we were ready to rock with our Christmas Pandora station!

We also worked on making a batch of Kentucky Eggnog via a recipe that Dustin's co-worker gave him.  The recipe said to let the batch sit for four days, so more on the taste results later!

Something I learned about Dustin, he is a light perfectionist!  He will argue with me on this, but he did take two hours to put up only half of the lights.  He claims that he only took 30 minutes with "some breaks".  Anyways, we ended up running out of lights, so our Christmas tree is only half lit!  We picked up more lights yesterday, so I am hoping to finish tonight ;-).  After the light fiasco, we ended our night by watching "We're the Millers", very funny!

On Saturday morning we headed down to my mom's house.  On our way down we stopped at Costco to pick up our Save the Dates, hooray!  I worked on addressing all of our envelopes while sitting with my mom.  It was a great way to knock it all out at once.  I used a return address stamp that was personalized which ended up being a big time saver.  

After I was done, Dustin helped lick and put on the stamps, and we were done!  Here is a sneak peek at what the front looks like:

Kudos to Morgan for the design!

Time with mom was good this weekend.  Aunt Becky allowed herself to take a real break while I was down on Saturday and most of Sunday.  She actually took naps!  Mom needs to get up to use the bathroom more and more which doesn't allow her much rest during the day.  Mom slowly continues to nibble on her food and takes small sips of water, which is good.  Nothing big to report after this weekend.  A few silly comments that made us all laugh:  

1)  Mom: "Molly will you put your Save the Date next to the picture of the time?" 
     Interpretation: She meant the clock

2)  Mom: "Here Molly, why don't you use the other side of my flag." 
     Interpretation: She meant her napkin

3)  Mom: "Oh drat, I fell asleep during Shark Squad last night" (She motions a puppet "hand shark")
     Interpretation: She meant "Shark Tank"

4)  Mom to Aunt Becky: "I am just waiting for Molly to come back up and sit with me"
     Aunt Becky to Mom: "She has been sitting with you for the last 3 hours!"

I know it is sad that her medicine is making her so confused, but we are all trying to find the humor in it.  She is saying some pretty funny things that not only puzzle us, but really make us laugh!  This blog is a good way for me to remember these types of things.  I am already looking forward to my time to see her on Wednesday!